Ellie-Mae Siame has filmed many short productions and for her first feature film experience, she was cast as Maudie in Jacqueline Wilson’s Four Kids and It, with the upcoming release filming in Ireland last year. She has also worked on many commercials including as the Lead Daughter for TUI Holiday Company in their Blue For Two advert and Ellie-Mae also appears in YouTube series Through The Fairy Door for Wildbrain as co-lead character Joy. We find out from Ellie-Mae about filming commercials, being in Through The Fairy Door and the upcoming release of Four Kids and It.
What are you able to say about being on set of the upcoming release Four Kids and It?
It was my first time ever on set and it was an amazing experience. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I got to play every day with Billy Jenkins, Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen and Ashley Aufderheide, who were the other main kids in the film. As some of the filming was at the beach, we got to play in the sand all day and once filming stopped for the day, we got to jump into the water and splash around. We also got to spend many days off set together, we lived next door to each other which was so much fun, there was an amazing milkshake place not far which we spent half of our week visiting, by the end of filming, the staff knew us all.
There was also a girl called Ameerah, who played my double for the movie, we were always together and had so much fun, everyone would get us so confused. My on-screen mum (Paula Patton) organised someone to come on set and give us all frozen ice-cream rolls. When Ameerah went to get one, the man said she had two already and didn’t want to give another as it would be too much, she tried to explain it wasn’t her who had it but he didn’t believe her, we had to go up together and explain, it was so funny, the man couldn’t believe how alike we were and Ameerah finally got her ice-cream.
Paula, who played my mum in the film, was so lovely. She was always smiling and hugging everyone. I have lovely memories of walking along the beach collecting seashells with her. For my birthday, she got me really lovely presents, one of them being a book called Room on the Broom, which is now my favourite book to read. I really miss her a lot, she was so kind and caring, I’m looking forward to seeing her at the premiere.
Russell Brand, who plays Tristan, is so funny, he is also really friendly and always made sure he had time to come and chat with us all. I remember one of the days it was really busy on set and we were filming the scenes with the kids who play the five kids from the original book. I could hear music far away and as it got closer it sounded like an ice-cream van, when I looked around all I could see was Russell driving on to set in the ice-cream van, it was so funny we were all screaming with excitement.
Matthew Goode, who played my mum’s boyfriend in the film, was really nice, I remember him always going to play golf every chance he got. I have some lovely photos with him but I can’t share them until the film comes out as they were on set.
Andy De Emmony was the director of the film, he was so kind and patient and always took time to explain everything to me and made the experience so much fun. I remember we were filming scenes using the RoboMoco and I was spinning in the air doing handstands, they had finished the filming but I was having so much fun, Andy let me stay on it.
I got to also spend some time with Anne Brogan and Julie Baines, two of the producers of the film, they were so friendly and always had time to have a chat. At the end of filming, they brought us out for a meal with Andy (director) and they all presented us with this amazing photobook of our time on set, it was such a beautiful gift and the photos are just lovely. I have so many wonderful memories during my time filming.
I also got to spend my sixth birthday on set, it was amazing, not only did I get to meet and film my scenes with Cheryl that day but the cast and crew made it so special. They all sang Happy Birthday to me and got me an amazing cake, they also got me so many presents I was absolutely spoilt.
Had you seen the Five Children and It film or read the Jacqueline Wilson book before being cast?
I had watched the film Five Children and It with my brother a few months before I was cast and I loved it. I have never read the book as I was a bit young at the time. When I was on set, I got to meet Jacqueline Wilson. She is such a lovely lady and was so friendly and chatty. She gave me a signed book and wrote ‘To a brilliant Maudie, love Jacqueline’. I have now read the book about five times, it is so good and such a great story.
Who is your character Maudie?
Maudie is the daughter of Alice (Paula Patton) and younger sister of Smash (Ashley Aufderheide). She is a very playful, cheeky and a good-tempered character. She bluntly says what’s on her mind which makes her character very funny. She has a really special bond with the psammead who she calls sand monster.
How long were you filming for this role and what was it like filming in Ireland?
We filmed for ten weeks in Ireland and then filmed for a few days in London. It was amazing filming in Ireland as that’s where I was born. My grandad and all my uncles, aunties and cousin live there in County Carlow and I have lots of friends I go and see every time I visit. It made it extra special as I got to spend time with everyone at weekends or when I wasn’t filming. My family were also able to come to Dublin which was so nice. My uncle Josh and his partner Dee got to come on set one of the days and meet Russell Brand, they were so happy and said how proud they were of me.
Can you tell us about This Is Living where you play leading cast member Lily?
This Is Living is a short film based on the award-winning West End play also called This Is Living, directed by Liam Borrett.
This Is Living is a drama about bereavement, exploring the relationship between the living and the dead. I play the daughter of Alice, the main character who tragically dies in a drowning incident but her ghost lives on and is able to communicate with her husband. The scenes we filmed was her family getting ready for her funeral with her watching her family and friends grieve for her. It was very emotional and heart-wrenching.
The short was filmed very recently and will be completed by December, Liam is working hard to present it to producers in a hope to get funding to make it a feature-length film.
You’ve also filmed other short films including Take Me Home and Cindy, can you say something about each?
Take Me Home is a short film about Jenny and her older sister Rosie who are ultimately led to their fate by a ghost who isn’t who she seems. It is directed by Kianna Grace. I will play Jenny’s friend Maya in the short and filming will begin later this year. I am really excited for this one as there are very talented child actors who are also a part of it and I’m really looking forward to meeting them all.
CINDY is a short film currently in post-production, set in London and Yorkshire. With a voice that bursts to be heard, CINDY is an important story filled with prevalent topics: embarrassment heightened with the advent of technologies, the rise of body positivity and against sexist societal values, and the ever-evolving definition of ‘family’.
Cindy’s first drag performance isn’t exactly a success; when a filmed wardrobe malfunction unexpectedly goes viral, she is forced to face the reactions of her families
– the one she’s born into, and the one she’s chosen.
Cindy is produced by Sevana Films and directed by Rosanagh Griffiths. I played a small role of a school girl at the beginning of the film talking about what she wanted to be when she grows up.
What was it like being cast alongside your brother, Jake Siame, in feature film Searching Malware, where you play Curly Sue?
Filming for Searching Malware will be sometime in October, I am really looking forward to filming this, it will be the first thriller I will be a part of.
I can’t wait to film with my brother Jake again. We get on so well and my mum says we are like two peas in a pod. We spend a lot of time together and there are only fifteen months between us so we are very close.
We filmed scenes in Cindy together and also for the promo commercial for AJ Easy Learning. We got to use a green screen and play the Wright Brothers. We had a fan in front of us for the wind effect and sitting on chairs pretending to be in a plane.
How is it filming for Wildbrain as Joy in Through the Fairy Door?
It was really fun, I love fairies, even before I got to play the fairy Joy, I had a fairy door and would always write little notes to my fairy and leave it out for her at night. I played Joy for six months and had so much fun with the other cast. I loved getting to watch the episodes on YouTube every week.
Joy doesn’t mean to be negative, it’s just how she’s hard-wired to view the world. Some fairies see their glass as half full, but Joy sees her glass as half empty. That said, below Joy’s surface, she really is a kind and generous fairy. She loves cute and cuddly animals. Joy loves dancing and when music comes on, she can’t help but bust a move.
What do you enjoy about working on commercials and can you talk about some you have filmed?
I love getting to dress up in different costumes, play different characters and meeting new people. I recently did a commercial for Ideal World shopping channel, that was so much fun. I got to play on all the rides in Dreamland, eat ice-cream and candy floss.
I also got to film a commercial for TUI Blue, we filmed that one up in London. I had an on-screen brother and we were being dropped off to stay with our grandmother while our parents went on holiday. That was a really fun one, we filmed in a lovely house and I got to play hide-and-seek between filming with Jalen, who played my brother.
I think the funniest commercial I got to film was recently for London Northwestern Rail. I played Scuba Girl, we were stood on the train platform waiting for a train so I was with my scuba family and my scuba dog, there were also astronauts, explorers and other random people standing at the platform.
You’ve done still photography for Winter Wonderland Experience and George at ASDA, what were these like to do?
I found this so much fun. For the Winter Wonderland Experience, I got to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves and spend time with them. The George at ASDA shoot was amazing, I got to try on lots of different accessories, the crew were so lovely, they let me keep a whole bag of accessories and a lovely denim dress after the shoot. I was so excited when I got to see my picture in the shops.
Previously, you’ve appeared on stage in pantomimes and Oliver!, what do you remember from your time in the shows?
That was a really long time ago, I was four years old, I remember I was the youngest cast member and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I really enjoyed the rehearsals as I got to meet lots of new friends and also spend my time dancing and singing which I love. I was in the child ensemble with my friend Teigan, it was our first time on the big stage, we were so excited.
How did you get into acting?
I had a dance teacher when I was living in Aylesham and she said to my mum she can see me going really far and gave advice to try out a modelling agency. The agency I was with at the time, ModelMe Management, submitted me for modelling and acting opportunities. When I was going to the auditions, I enjoyed the acting ones a lot more and thought it was fun to learn the scripts and pretend to be other people. When I auditioned for Four Kids and It, I first sent off a self-tape to my agency who forwarded it to the casting director Colin Jones, they said they really enjoyed my tape and wanted to meet me. I got to meet the director Andy De Emmony and the producers Julie Baines and Anne Brogan, they were so lovely. I had to do the script with different emotions like happy and sad. About two weeks later, my agent emailed my mum and told her I had the part of Maudie, I was so excited I screamed the house down.
What do you enjoy doing other than acting and modelling?
I love all kinds of dancing, especially ballet and jazz. I can’t wait till term starts again as I’m starting in my new ballet school. I love after school club as we do different things each term. I have been doing tennis, athletics and I have also been learning a bit of sign language which has been really interesting. I also love trampolining and gymnastics. I’m starting ice skating soon which looks so much fun. I just love going to the cinema with my family and spending time with my friends, I think that’s important. None of my friends in school know I am an actor which I like as it keeps me grounded, I get to go to school and be like all the other kids.
Are you currently working on any productions and what are your future acting plans?
I’m looking forward to filming Searching Malware in October and Take Me Home at the end of the year. I am also eagerly awaiting the release of Four Kids and It.
I am now represented by the amazing acting agency Sainou, who have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the industry so I’m very excited to see what’s to come in the future.
For the next couple of weeks, I’m enjoying having a break and focusing on starting back to school and spending time with my friends.
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